An Edward G.Robinson film new to me.
Set in a TV studio,the program”Crime of the Week” is written by Don Newell (John Forsythe) and directed by Dave Markson (Richard Denning).
Robinson ,as Henry Hayes, is a researcher and casting director.
Henry’s girlfriend Paula (Kathleen Hughes) is an actress in the cast of the show. She’s obviously using him to further her career. She’s also blackmailing Don over a brief affair they had.
Finally Paula has had enough of Henry and spells it out for him,”You’re a fussy little character with a tiny little job….all you ever did for me was hand me a laugh.”
Paula is later found dead. Her long deserted husband is arrested while Henry suggests Don write about the murder for their show.
It’s a good thriller and I was impressed by Kathleen Hughes whose career seemed to be mainly on TV.
Not a great part for Edward G., but of course he is good.
Jack Arnold directed the film in 3D but the 3D version was never released.
Edward G.Robinson stars in TAMPICO which I can only describe s an average ‘B’ in which he is miscast as the captain of an oil tanker heading for TAMPICO in Mexico during WW2.
I expect Fox sold this as an ‘A’ feature because they had Robinson but the script let them down.
Victor McLaglen is Robinson’s first mate and the lovely Lynn Bari is the unlikely love interest for Robinson.
As an action hero,I’m afraid Edward G. isnt convincing. Probably if it had been Lloyd Nolan or Chester Morris I would have accepted TAMPICO for what it was.
But this was the year Robinson made Double Indemnity and Woman in the Window. TAMPICO seems an odd choice for the great Robinson.
I’d never heard of Tampico’s German director Lothar Mendes who only made a handful of films in Hollywood. In fact this was his second last film.His last,in 1946,was The Walls Came Tumbling Down which I liked a lot.
THE WHIP HAND (1951)
A good little thriller from RKO,let down by a weak leading man,Elliott Reid who isn’t strong enough to carry the film.i guess Robert Mitchum or Robert Ryan weren’t available.
Reid plays a journalist on a fishing vacation who stumbles on mysterious goings-on in a lodge near the small town of Winnoga which doesn’t seem to have many residents .
He becomes curious when the local inn keeper,Raymond Burr tells him there are no fish in the nearby lake.
He meets up with a doctor (Edgar Barrier) and the doctor’s sister (Carla Balenda).
At one point, Reid says to Carla: “Odd little town.Everybody’s sure anxious to bid me goodbye.” (Very pale shades of Bad Day At Black Rock).
He figures out a virus has been put in the lake and that Burr and Barrier are involved in some sort of experiment.
They want him gone.
Again,Reid reflects, “My car’s been crippled. I’ve been followed constantly. I couldn’t make a phone call if it was a matter of life or death.”
But he doesn’t give up and finally gets a message through to his editor.
The working title was The Enemy Within which seems far more appropriate than The Whip Hand. Howard Hughes spent a lot of money re-making much of the film, changing the baddies from communists to Nazis.
Raymond Burr impresses as usual.
The poster above reveals too much about the plot.